AFL NSW/ACT Season 2020 Wrap

To our AFL Footy Family,

As we wrap up a season of community football like no other this weekend, I’d like to take the opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you to our Community Football network across the State and Territory for your significant time, energy and effort to complete this unprecedented season.

Collectively we have delivered 8,054 games of football across the State and Territory under strict health protocols. The ability of our exceptional Club volunteers to go over and above and execute the season in compliance with COVID-Safe plans is a remarkable achievement, demonstrating the dedication and commitment of so many across the State and Territory to our great game.

Well done to all our Premiers; winning a championship under challenging circumstances is a fantastic achievement.

The significant physical and mental health benefits of participating in community sport cannot be overvalued in challenging times like these. Our AFL community Clubs have led the way across the State and Territory. Through your hard work and perseverance, you have given the opportunity to tens of thousands of participants, umpires, coaches and volunteers to connect with their local communities and get out on the field and experience the positive benefits footy gives us each weekend.

Pleasingly, our community football Clubs maintained 97% of their pre-COVID participation levels highlighting our collective love of playing this great game in NSW and the ACT is as strong as ever.

As we wrap up the final games of season 2020, it is important that we all take the time to reflect and ensure any positive changes bought on through the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are captured, and embedded into our operational plans for future seasons. We will be in touch via survey in the coming weeks (if they have not already) to receive your input on a range of community football matters. We will collate the feedback and ensure that we continue to grow and improve our community football competitions.

It has been well documented that the AFL industry has incurred a significant financial shock as the result of the COVID-19 health pandemic. Consequently, AFL NSW ACT has undertaken a significant restructure to ensure our long-term sustainability in this uncertain economic environment.

Our new AFL NSW ACT structure will take effect from 2 November 2020 and at the appropriate time in early November we will communicate our new structure and relevant community football contacts to our network. Until this time, please continue to contact the AFL NSW ACT team that has delivered the 2020 community football season should you have any questions.

In addition to this, there are a number of significant changes occurring at the elite level of our game that impact our football ecosystem. The challenging economic environment bought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant changes in the AFL Soft Cap, AFL List Sizes and the amalgamation of the NEAFL competition into a new VFL / Eastern Seaboard competition. As such, work has begun to address these how these changes affect our market in a timely and considered manner. Engaging members of our network in these structural challenges will be integral to our efforts to address these structural changes in the off-season to ensure that subject to health conditions allowing, we continue the strong football momentum in the State and Territory come the 2021 season.

Once again, I thank you on behalf of AFL NSW/ACT for all that you have given our great game in this unprecedented season.

Kind regards,

Tiffany Robertson